HOUSTONState Representative Sylvester Turner announced his candidacy for Mayor of Houston Friday morning and immediately proposed a new “Road to the Future” initiative to teach young Houstonians a combination of vocational and life skills they need to become employable while providing on-the-job training repairing Houston’s streets and roads.

“We all need smoother streets,” said Turner. “But we also need to build better roads to the future for so many of our young people who are being left behind. I know we can do both.”

Growing up in Houston’s Acres Homes community, Turner went from sharing one room with eight brothers and sisters to Harvard Law School, founding his own business and then becoming a champion in the Texas Legislature for Houston’s middle class families.

In the Legislature, Turner has worked to stop utility companies from unfairly raising gas and electricity rates and to make health care more affordable for children and families.  He has also led the fight to restore billions of dollars in cuts to public schools. As a small business owner, Turner has provided good jobs, affordable health care and a secure future for his employees for 31 years.

As part of the Road to the Future initiative, Turner will bring together community colleges, businesses, labor unions and non-profit organizations to create a combination of classroom instruction and structured summer jobs, after-school jobs, after-high-school jobs and bridge jobs – real jobs with real skills that will help make the promise of Houston real for every Houstonian.

Turner said his priorities as mayor will include a top-to-bottom performance review of the city’s Department of Public Works and implementation of a quick-fix program for potholes; stepping up community policing efforts and improving relationships between HPD and communities of color; and addressing economic inequality through increased support for schools and better aligning community college-based workforce training with actual private sector job needs.

Turner will kick off his campaign on March 28 at Minute Maid Park. He has appointed local businessman and community leader David Mincberg as his campaign treasurer. Mincberg served as a special assistant to Mayor Bill White for Multi-Family Housing Policy and later as Chair of the Houston Housing Authority.

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